Friday, March 6, 2009

Why go to Confession?

Why go to Confession?
Repentance leads us to salvation provided it is coupled with Confession. Confession is what reconciles us with the Father who loves us unconditionally. He does not want us to die as a sinner, but wishes us to return to union with Him and attain eternal life in His kingdom. We see this clearly in the parable of the Prodigal Son who said, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” (Luke 15:21) With this the father opened his arms and embraced him. The Holy Fathers have taught us that Confession is the renewal of our Baptism. The Lord knows our weaknesses and does not punish us for them if only we are willing to repent and work to change our ways.
Yet, no matter how great our repentance is, if it is not completed by the Mystery of Confession it does not give rise to salvation or reconcile us with God. It is only through Confession preceded by the sincere repentance that our sins can be cleansed and our soul be healed. Repentance alone is not sufficient.
It is no different than when we have a bodily ailment and are suffering. It is not sufficient for us to know what we are suffering from. This will not cure us. We must seek out a physician of the body to help us get well. It is the same with our sins. It is not sufficient to know them and feel sorry about them. This is only the beginning of our healing. We must seek out a spiritual doctor, a Priest who is a Confessor, so he can grant us remission and offer the appropriate remedies for our spiritual sickness. If we do not, we will not be cured and our soul in its sickness will be eternally separated from God.
Ask yourself, “How close do you feel to God?” If you do not have an intimate relationship with God throughout the day, you suffer like all of us from a sinful condition. This is our fallen condition that we all find ourselves in. You are not alone in this condition. We are all in need of healing. Confession along with regular participation in Holy Communion, fasting and daily prayer, heals us and brings us closer and closer to God. Our aim as Orthodox Christians is to come into union with God through our participation in the sacraments of His Church. Confession is one of the very powerful sacraments to help us along this path. Make arrangements for you confession during Lent.

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